To raise the profile of the role that reading and books can play in supporting children’s health and well being, Manchester Libraries got involved in Anti-bullying Week in November. This year the theme was ‘Choose Respect’.

The award winning author Alan Gibbons visited six Manchester Libraries to speak to upper primary and lower high school audiences about antibullying. Alan has written best sellers such as ‘Shadow Of The Minotaur’ and ‘Whose Side Are You On?’, some of which target these difficult issues.  During the sessions Alan tackled issues of bullying and racism, using his own personal experience and his storytelling to highlight common themes.

Over seven hundred children and young people from thirteen different schools attended the sessions. Afterwards the young people had a chance to ask Alan questions. Teachers were impressed that the sessions enabled some normally shy children to come forward and ask Alan thought-provoking questions.  All teachers felt Alan had made a huge impact on their classes and that the topic of anti-bullying had been addressed in a very real and honest way.

“Excellent talk which was engaging, humorous and had a clear message”, teacher from Didsbury CE Primary School

“It was good because it was funny and interesting”, year 6 pupil from St Chrysostom’s CofE Primary School